Candle in the dark

Making better games

Candle in the dark

Hello. My name is Nickolay Krumov, also known as Hegemon on the internet. But feel free to call me Nick. I am one of the writers for TDA and with my articles I am mostly going to focus on three main types of content:

  • Theory: Highly conceptual pieces that mostly lay the ground work for future projects (such as the yet to be established science of Applied Game Dynamics).
  • Design: General thoughts and musings on various tabletop design issues and ways to solve them.
  • Development: My experiences from working on my own projects*, how I’ve handled problems and found solutions, what I’ve learned from making them, etc.

Overall, a large part of my work in design is focused on the theoretical aspect, trying to further the field in any way I can. Sometimes the grand ideas don’t pan out, but sometimes they do. While I do hold the firm belief that most game design concepts are transferable (as is the case for design in general), I work primarily in the fields of RPGs and card games. As a scientist by training, my approach to design is very scientific**, and that will be reflected in my writing.

As far as making games goes, my current projects are the following:

  • Chimborazo RPG: the magnum opus. I like to say that this game will revolutionise how RPGs are made***.
  • Variety of modules for the above (as of the time of writing, this means the Relationship module and the Pets, Minions, and Mercenaries module).
  • Balance RPG: A small and simple game aimed at roleplaying beginners that serves as a thesis piece to my (yet unfinished) paper on balancing mechanisms in RPGs.
  • Chimborazo: Legends (working title): An original, rules-light, multiplayer card game.
  • A yet unnamed fully-custom Magic: the Gathering set.

With more projects currently under way, except they are more in the spheres of worldbuilding and writing rather than game design. Still, there are many games to make once these are finished, or at least in their final stages.

For now, this has been my introduction here on the blog, I’ll see you in the next article!


FAQ:

Q: What are your current projects and where can we find them?
A: Content-wise they are listed above, but you can will be able to find more info on all of them on my personal blog and I probably talk about them quite a bit on Twitter now that I’m active on it again.

Q: But Hegemon, (game) design is an art, not a science!
A: Oh, grow up. Art and science are not opposites in any way. Design is an extremely intricate combination of many fields of understanding. Science is merely the application of the scientific method, nothing more and nothing less.

Q: “This game will revolutionise how RPGs are made.” What a preposterous claim!
A: I suppose? On one hand, it is. But, realistically, there have already been games that have done this, shifting or occasionally completely flipping the world of RPG design upside down as an approach to how they are made or even what an RPG can look like. E.g., Dungeon World and/or the whole PbtA genre. Usually people don’t use such grandiose statements to describe them, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s true. Nor do I think it’s particularly big of a deal to do so. There have been many games that have revolutionised their respective genres or sub-genres without making too much fuss about it, but we can appreciate what they did in hindsight. In the same way, while I jokingly claim that ChimborazoRPG will revolutionise ttrpg design, I am merely stating that it’s doing something very different. Hopefully in a good way. Don’t take things too seriously, folks.

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